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Crabs Sense and Remember Pain. Duh.

Written by PETA | March 27, 2009


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Sorry to break the news, but Disney was lying when it told you that crabs could sing and dance. However, it turns out that your childhood friend Sebastian definitely had reason to fear being hurt by Ursula, because … drum roll, please … crabs “sense and remember pain.”

That’s right, a recent study by Queen’s University is making headlines by declaring (once and for all, we hope) that crabs and other crustaceans experience pain and react to it in a way that anyone can relate to. They quickly get away from what’s causing the pain and then try to avoid it in the future. Makes sense. If you were to, say, touch a hot stove even though your mother told you not to, you probably wouldn’t do it again. Same goes for the crab.

The only questions that remain are: How much did it pain Sebastian to be exploited by Disney for the awful (unfortunately I know this from firsthand experience) straight-to-DVD flicks The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, and how long will he remember it?

P.S. Not surprised by this news? Well maybe that’s because you’re already a hermit-crab expert. Take the PETA Kids Hermit Crab Quiz to test your crabtelligence.

Written by Shawna Flavell

Commenting is closed.
  • brian says:

    I used to work in a crab processing plant in Dutch Harbor AK, and must have butchered 10’s of thousands of opilio and king crab.  I know for a fact they feel pain.  You could see it in there eyes after theirentire body was ripped in half.  Only their eyes remained on their exoskeletin head.  Their mouths and eyes would move a while after we ripped them in half.  This would have to be the worst way to be killed.  I still love the taste of crab meat, and the factories are really clean ,i just wish there was a better way to do it but there is not.  We will surley over fish them and they will go extinct, so they wont suffer too much longer.

  • Angela says:

    When I was younger my dad bought all the live lobsters that had been fished localy and cut the bands of their claws. He then put them all back in the ocean far away from the lobster pots. We came back the next day and looked through the water none of them had died as we could see and almost all of them made it out deep in the ocean. It was 1 of the nicest things he has ever done.

  • Lauren says:

    Crabs totally have personalities. I do disagree with the ruling on hermit crabs. I happen to have some buddies living on my desk at work and they are totally happy. I saved them from a cage on the boardwalk in October. They had no food and no water and they have been thriving. I would rather they be left in homeland… but I feel like I’m doing all I can to help them enjoy their life.

  • kamis says:

    I hate the human arrogance and the readiness to accept ignorance at the same time. We need to try to educate EVERYBODY much more.. Even if it’s just a single photo sent by email. You never know when it can make a difference. Atm I’m personally concentrating on putting my husbands’ colleagues off KFC..

  • Keith Berger says:

    On a related topic for those who care to please visit and sign our online petition to stop the sale of live lobsters in supermarkets at httpwww.thepetitionsite.com5stopsellinglivelobstersatsupermarketssignatures Please help us get these wonderful critters off of Death Row!

  • crystal partee says:

    it is cruel for anypain to be inflicted on any animal crabs feel pain. It is sick!!! Those humans doing that should have the same thing done to them if not worse I am truly disgusted and outraged!!!!!! And my heart goes out to all the innocent animals going through that misery one day Jehovah god will bring an end to animal suffering once and for all!!!

  • Pepsi One is Fun says:

    Gina I loved the Fox and the Hound. That was a great movie. Its sad that these days the only good Disney movies tend to be only the ones with Pixar involved.

  • Michelle Daikos says:

    can you imagine how they feel in a boiling pot?

  • amanda boyko says:

    This is a song about whaling that my mom wrote and i thought i’d post it on every comment box i could find so here it is DESPERATE SONG OF THE HUMPBACK WHALE Riding through the water like you were gliding on ice Surface for a second barely catching your breath Watch me through the corner of your tiny eyes Scares me to know so few of your babies are left Survival is the battle for all the humpback whales Fighting brutal elements including mankind Racing for safe waters with a calf at their tails And those deadly harpoons closing in not too far behind They have sung in deep sea waters The voice of innocence disguised But no the sound is weak and weathered Wave after wave of silent cries Blood absorbed by satly water Stinging wounds and human lies Oh listen to the desperate song of the humpback whale Listen with compassion As the crewmen hoist their sails Deep beneath the ocean is a solitary place Uncharted crystal waters that no man has ever touched Is this where the mammal has to hide integral grace? When death in playful seas the whale has brushed

  • Craig says:

    Anyone with two brain cells to rub together could come to this conclusion. The problem is that most people are too fing stupid. It annoys the hell out of me when I meet a so called vegetarian vegan that doesn’t eat beef pork or foul but still shovels down fish and crustations like that’s somehow OK. While there has been some progress to demonstrate that ALL beings feel pain were still stuck in the stone ages with the way humans perceive and treat other beings on this planet. Until an ultra cheap method is developed to grow lab meat we will continue to see the current factory farming fishing perpetuate for ever.

  • Brien Comerford says:

    Crabs are sentient creatures capable of feeling pain and suffering. Unfortunately millions of them have been wrongfully subjected to painful deaths perpetrated by mankind.

  • Christy says:

    Right on Gina! The Little Mermaid is the reason I first realized that what we humans eat might have feelings. It really personalized my relationship between animals and me. I was 10 yrs old when I first watched the movie The scene where Ursela is eatting the little shrimps and they’re tryin to get away…that did it for me. Thank you Disney…

  • tangerine says:

    duh indeed! but how will this study help the crabs? It’s already a fact that chickens cows and pigs feel pain but that doesn’t stop humans from torturing slaughtering and consuming them. The actual issue is that nonhuman animals are DEVALUED by humans and so is their pain. They are accepted and recognized as living beings capable of pain and yet we make them suffer because their lives are not considered equally valuable as ours. But who makes up the rules and decides what’s valuable? Why humans of course!

  • Gina says:

    OMGOSH! This is what i’ve had in mind this whole time. Disney movies definetely show how animals feel that’s the secret hidden behind these drawings. Movies like Fox the Hound Bambi Tarzan Little Mermaid etc…they all have meaning and show how the animals feel. It’s brilliant. Although they may not say everything the animals emotions definetely show People please pay close attention when your watching these disney movies especially with kids. Because even cartoons have meaning to them

  • Janet Richetti says:

    Yes Crab feel pain. I was drivingin Florida one day and a huge land crab walked out on the road I tought it was a tree branch as it was windy I hit it and removed it’s claw and it screamed in pain rocking back and forth I was banging on doors so someone can help me and a gentleman working in the yead came out to the street and killed the crab as he agreed this poor crab was in excrutiatng pain.

  • shannon says:

    Hate to break it to you but it was Louis the chef who Sebastian feared the most in the first film. Go back and watch it and you’ll see what I mean.